First off, Happy Birthday Elvis! To see a full schedule of Elvis' birthday celebrations go here.
This year is still a shiny new baby, so I think there's plenty of time left to share predictions and previews. I got really excited when I was writing this, and it turned into a monster post, so I'm breaking it down into two parts. Here's an overview of what I'm looking forward to in 2014, part one.
The Big Stuff
Bass Pro Pyramid: Everybody's favorite triangular building will "allegedly" be a Bass Pro Shop by November. Expect indoor and outdoor elevators, an observation platform, an aquarium, restaurants, and a hotel. I'm actually looking forward to how much kitschy fun Bass Pro could be.
The Lorraine Motel: Part of the National Civil Rights Museum will reopen in
early March April after undergoing renovations for the last year or so. The new exhibits will include a series of films including documentaries about little known civil rights heroes, historical footage, and interactive media.
60 Years of Rock 'n' Roll: It's been 60 years since Elvis first recorded "That's All Right" at Sun Studios, so expect events all year to celebrate. First up is Elvis' Birthday POPS concert with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra on January 11.
The Hampline: This two-mile long protected bike trail will connect the Overton Park trails with the Shelby Farms Greenline, and should be finished by the end of the year. People will be able to bike, walk, or run along the path and view plenty of public art, including more of our new favorite things in Memphis: murals. Read the full post and see a map here.
Sears Crosstown: In December, the City Council approved a $15 million contribution to the redevelopment of the old Sears building in the Crosstown neighborhood. The plan (per this Commerical Appeal article) is to turn the ginormous, dilapidated place into offices, apartments, healthcare facilities, galleries, and other creative spaces. If the focus of the project continues to be serving the immediate Crosstown community, I think it will be a game changer for the neighborhood. This won't be finished for several years, but we might see things getting started in 2014.
East Memphis: You should read this handy Memphis Daily News article to get the full scoop on all the upcoming East Memphis restaurants, but briefly — Broadway Pizza's new location is on Mendenhall. The Whimsey Cookie Co. is opening next door to the new Soul Fish. A ramen/yakitori/sushi place called Skewer is scheduled to open in Sanderlin Centre in mid-January.
I just found out about a new place called Bounty that will open somewhere in Broad Avenue in the first half of the year. The first floor will be a market/butcher shop; the second level will be a farm-to-table restaurant with a twist. That's all the information the owners are giving out for now. I'm just pumped that it seems healthy, because woman does not live by FGTBLT alone.
Broad Avenue. Bounty will be somewhere in this neighborhood; the owners aren't announcing where yet.
Midtown: Babalu Tacos and Tapas is opening a location in Overton Square where T.G.I. Friday's used to be (their other location is in Jackson, Miss.) As far as I know, Sekisui founder Jimmy Ishii is still planning to open Robata Ramen & Yakitori Bar in the yellow house next to Bosco's. Cooper Young is getting two new places (at least): Muddy's Cupcakes' second location and Tart, a coffeeshop that will serve French cuisine. Midtown Nursery is moving to Madison and McLean, so the Truck Stop is full speed ahead.
Downtown: Jeff Johnson (owner of both Locals) will open Oshi across the street from the downtown Local. Expect gourmet burgers with an Asian flair by mid-year. Also this fancy poster:
Image via Farmhouse. Used with permission.
Mr. Johnson is also opening a Mexican joint in the old Papa Pia's location on Union Ave called Agave Maria, hopefully in time for Cinco de Mayo. Expect tacos, tortas, enchiladas, and tapas, along with a few entrees (when I talked to him, Jeff mentioned whole crispy snapper, waygu carne asada, and fire roasted chicken) as well as fancy Latin-inspired cocktails.
I hope Local Margaritas are served there because they are the best non-traditional margaritas in all the land and their gospel must be spread.
High Cotton Brewery's taproom in The Edge district (on Monroe across from Kudzu's) is also scheduled to open in March sometime.
Tap Room Coming Soon!! pic.twitter.com/AYR27SpjkL
— High Cotton Beer (@HighCottonBeer) January 7, 2014
I plan to put up Part Two of my 2014 preview this week. In the meantime, please let me what you want to see on this blog in 2014. What do you want more of? Less of? You can tell me in the comments, on Twitter, Facebook, or by email.